Agape; or, Sipping Coffee at Starbucks on a Saturday Afternoon, by David Radavich

David Radavich

It is not easy
watching and feeling
the body waste

without notice

the young
come strolling by
in their gaiety

something deep
and eternal

something lost

cells aching
in the furnace

whose fire

now at a distance

stepping lightly

in the mind

Author’s Comment: Our neighborhood Starbuck’s, like coffee-shops elsewhere, is a locus of youth and vitality for people of all ages. This poem announces its ironic tone with a blatantly eighteenth-century title. “Agape” represents a kind of generalized love that the poem contrasts later with waning sexual powers. The speaker is acutely aware of his aging body, brought into sharp contrast by youthful passers-by in their high spirits and casual élan. The speaker feels a bemused sense of loss and distance from the romantic chase, much as audiences feel charmed and heavy watching lithe ballet dancers leaping and pirouetting their bodies in ways the viewers can only dream.

Bio: David Radavich’s recent poetry collections include America Bound: An Epic for Our Time (2007), Canonicals: Love’s Hours (2009), and Middle-East Mezze (2011). His plays have been produced across the U.S. , including six Off-Off-Broadway, and in Europe . He lives in Charlotte , North Carolina .

3 thoughts on “Agape; or, Sipping Coffee at Starbucks on a Saturday Afternoon, by David Radavich

  1. This poem and the two that precede it strike all-too-resonant chords, perhaps because I’m a) elderly, and b) a comparatively recent widow. Intimations of mortality (to paraphrase) would be with most of us after a certain time, but these poets force us (not too gently) to face them. Wonderful work, I think.

  2. It’s only now that I realize how much I took for granted when I was young, and I will probably look back to right now, feeling the same way about this present time in 20 years. I love the line, “cells aching in the furnace.” Great poem.

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